“Beyond what we wish and what we fear may happen, we have another life. . . . as clear and free as a mountain stream.” ~Rumi
To feel both alive and at peace in a place is the perfect balance. Selva Val Gardena was that place for us. The first time we passed through on a day trip, we knew we would be back. After spending time there this past month, it found a way into our souls and we find ourselves talking about our time, basking in the shadows of the Dolomites, every day.
We stayed in an apartment that was a family home for generations. Our generous hosts taught us many things about life in this expansive and majestic valley. The valley has three official languages, Italian, German and Ladin (consisting of a group of dialects).
There are over 900 ski lifts and 1200 kilometers of terrain that are connected to this valley through the Dolomiti Superski area! We rock climbed and hiked and watched other adventurous folks paraglide and trek on horseback and kyak. We spent time playing in beautiful parks as the local school bells echoed through the valley. We felt at home and at ease from the day we arrived.
There is a creative energy in Selva Val Gardena that is palatable. Everywhere we looked there was evidence of working with ones hands to create masterpieces. Woodcarving has been booming in this region since the 17th century but also painting and tapestry and architectural design and accents. As we peeked in many workshop windows, artists were focused on their chosen craft backed by the glory of these masterful mountains.
We have spent more time in other parts of Italy than we did in the Dolomites but we have never felt more at home. Although we are no longer in Val Gardena, I think there is a part of us that will always be.